McKinley-Rodgers Photography

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Homespun Magic.


If I had to use one word to describe Will and Nikki then it would be ‘adorable’. I’ve never met them admittedly but the photos from their glorious rustic outdoorsy affair show the sweetest couple who are very much in love.

There are plenty of gorgeous thoughtful details too, from the hand-scrawled signage at both the ceremony and the reception, the wonderful stationery, the guestbook and the table plan.

Oh man…just wait until you see the table plan!

And those portrait shots on the hay bales and Range Rover? Genius.

Oh and there are some pretty fashion savvy gents in tweed too – from one of my favourite boutiques in Edinburgh! I do love me a man in tweed…

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

Nikki The Bride: Will and I got married on my parent’s farm just outside Matlock, Derbyshire on Saturday the 10th of August, 2013. After Will proposed on NYE 2011, our initial plan was to have a small, low key wedding with just a few close family and friends. We did the total opposite! There were several reasons for this but we’re so pleased with the decision we made – our day was incredible.

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Having been to more weddings than we’ve had hot dinners over the last few years, we were able to get a feel for the things we liked and certain aspects of ‘the big day’ that appealed to us. We knew that a stately home or a fancy hotel wasn’t our cup of tea and to get married at home with such wonderful memories of growing up meant something to us.

Being on the edge of the Peak District with its rolling green hills and pretty villages provided a great backdrop and we married at the local parish church, St.Helen’s before making the short trip back to the farm to our reception in a traditional pole marquee provided bySimon Bond. With absolutely no restrictions on the number of guests, what menu to choose from or wine to select, we were able to make our day really personal.

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Elegant Lace

My dress was from a shop called Darcy Weddings in Morpeth just north of Newcastle upon Tyne where we live. Having been a bridesmaid the previous year, I’d met Jennifer and the girls in the shop already and knew how lovely and down to earth they were. When you’re going to part with that much money on a dress I think the service you receive is really important and after several visits I couldn’t have been happier.

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I chose quite a traditional fitted lace dress with sleeves that was designed by Ronald Joyce. I didn’t necessarily have the OMG this is ‘the one’ feeling but I knew out of the dozen or so I’d tried on beforehand that this was one I felt the most comfortable in. I had a brief idea of what I hoped to find and this was pretty much it.

Wreathed In Gypsophila

I wanted my hair to tie in with the rustic country feel of the wedding so I decided on a baby gypsophila head crown. I had a veil from Darcy’s which I think I was supposed to take off after the ceremony but it stayed on for pretty much the whole day! As for jewellery, I borrowed some antique teardrop earrings from my mum and wore a simple Tiffany bracelet that I opened on the morning of the wedding bought by my wonderful husband.

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I managed to find some closed-toe lacey little numbers that went perfectly with my dress. I got them in John Lewis, nothing fancy, very simple and having spent a day in a field and all night on the dance-floor, they’re certainly never going to be worn again!

Simple And Natural

Two very lovely ladies had the challenge of making me look pretty on my wedding day. My hair stylist Sarah Britner was superb and created the look I wanted with such effortlessness. I decided to keep things simple and have my hair down with loose curls wrapped around my floral headpiece. I knew I was in capable hands when I had my trial earlier in the year and she did a fine job with the bridesmaids too.

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Nicola Boden hid all my imperfections and provided a simple, natural look with make-up. I don’t generally wear a lot so I knew I didn’t want anything too heavy. I was conscious of the fact that many brides are totally transformed on their day and can quite often be unrecognisable. I still wanted to look like me and I was thrilled with the final result.

Florals And Tweed

We couldn’t have been happier with our flowers from Kerry at Tineke Floral Designs. Being in a field, we wanted a hand-picked, natural bouquet with no particular colour scheme. Cream bombastic spray roses, daisies, rosemary, lavender, purple phlox, ammi, pink astrantia, gypsophilia, alchemillia and fountain grass were wrapped with ribbon and twine and they smelt amazing! With the boys wearing three piece tweed suits, we wanted quite a masculine buttonhole so decided on crespidia with gypsophilia and daisies finished with twine and rosemary.

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Being a landscape gardener, my mum was keen to create the table centres herself and along with her friend they did a wonderful job with flowers picked out of the garden. The centre pieces were a labour of love as earlier in the year Dad and I spent a day in the shed making all thirteen from logs and twigs collected from the hillside. They certainly added rustic charm to each table and we were really pleased with them.

Pot Luck

One of the first decisions we made was what the boys would wear and they ended up purchasing their own three piece tweed suits from Walker-Slater in Edinburgh (their suits have even made a blog on their website!). Having each picked a different tweed design that complimented one another, the challenge lay in what the girls would wear.

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Initially, ideas centred on traditional floor length strapless dresses in pastel shades but we soon realised that a bold colour would work better with tweed. It was in fact my mum that picked out the dress we chose whilst she waited for me to get changed in the bridal shop! Although I wasn’t sure at first, once my bridesmaid Carrie tried it on, I realised how gorgeous they would look. With all four bridesmaids being young and bubbly, I felt the dress we chose reflected their characters whilst at the same time not being too formal.

They were designed by Wtoo and bought from the same shop I got my wedding dress. The colour was a beautiful bluey green shade called agave and we managed to get similar coloured woollen ties for the ushers. It was pot luck that everything came together on the day!

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The Dashing Groom

The Groom was in a lovely rural green three piece tweed suit which I have to say has been his best purchase EVER judging by the amount of times he’s worn it since! He looked very dapper and I had the biggest smile on my face coming down the aisle.

We weren’t keen on having a strong colour scheme with everything matching so there were no restrictions when it came to what tie or shirt he wore. His tweed suit had a lovely plum lining so he got a woollen tie to match and with it wore a pair of light brown brogues and his late father’s gold pocket watch. It was a traditional but quirky look and one he pulled off very well as did all the other ushers in their tweed suits. It was a bit of a gamble wearing tweed on a summer’s day but thankfully it wasn’t baking hot!

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Rocking Photographers

Choosing McKinley-Rodgers to capture our special day has to be without a doubt, the best decision we made. The photos speak for themselves…those two rock! Not only were we blown away with their images but on the day itself, they were great fun to be around and made it very easy for us to relax and be ourselves in front of the camera.

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Many of our friends and family actually thought they were wedding guests and that was what was so good about them, they didn’t impose themselves like many photographers often do. We really can’t thank them enough. As a result of major unexpected drama (long story!) they went to the effort of recording a vast majority of the day and creating a short video which captures everything so beautifully, we love it!

A Family Of Enthusiastic Bakers

With a family of enthusiastic bakers, the wedding cake was very much a home-made team effort. We came up with plenty of ideas but to fit in with the rustic theme, we decided on a ‘naked’ cake – a traditional shaped wedding cake but made from sponge without the icing.

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Mum made the three tiers of Victoria sponge which was then beautifully decorated by my 16 year old cousin who created a dozen or so intricate edible roses which looked so real! Fresh strawberries were also added and the cake was filled with buttercream made by my aunty. Not only did it look superb, it was absolutely delicious! We placed the cake on top of a log to tie in with the centre pieces.

Fat Chance

The band were the choice of the groom’s Best Man, his brother. They were called Fat Chance and having already heard them at a friend’s wedding the year earlier he knew they would suit the sort of music we wanted. Being fans of all kinds of music, entertainment was hugely important to us but having only heard a couple of clips of the band on-line, we put a lot of trust in the best man.

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He also kindly offered to pay for the band as a wedding gift so we couldn’t really say no! They certainly didn’t disappoint! The dance floor was literally full from the first song until the last – even the band commented that it’s a rare sight at weddings as it normally takes a while for people to warm up. They definitely struck a chord with us and everyone there.

Although we’re both really into music, we don’t share any one specific song that holds a special meaning so we spent quite a bit of time deliberating over what song to dance to. We had all sorts of ideas including a song we could lindy hop to but that was short-lived as neither of us can lindy hop! We considered scrapping the first dance all together but in the end we chose Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together as lyrically it fitted the bill and it wasn’t too slow to dance to. We didn’t want to dance to a recording either so it had to be something the band could play live. We didn’t rehearse it once so it was all on impulse although I think we spent most of the song kissing and hugging so to avoid having to dance!

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Summer Fruits

We didn’t go down a traditional favours route. It is usually quite a large expense and we’ve been to a number of weddings where many of the favours are left behind. So instead we distilled 6 litres of home-made Summer Fruits Gin and left it by the bar with a load of shot glasses for people to toast to whatever they wanted during the evening. It went down an absolute storm, was personal to us and our tastes. Like us, a lot of our friends and family love gin so it was ideal.

It was also a good incentive for people to add their fingerprint to a huge piece of sheet music, ‘Bring me Sunshine’ designed by my friend Alicia. This was our version of a guestbook, and using the fingerprint tree concept, we got guests to put their little fingers in different coloured ink pads and place them on a note assigned to them. It’s definitely my favourite creation from the day and we now have it framed on our wall.

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Free Rein

The beauty of having our wedding on my parent’s farm was that we could do whatever we liked. Our aim was to keep things relaxed, rustic and simple and we did just that with some wonderful help from close friends and family.

The traditional marquee was such a beautiful open space. We decorated it with bunting made by our mums and flowers from the garden that we put in old milk churns. More bunting was hung around the farm along the fences and up the driveway. We had hundreds of metres of the stuff! The table plan was in hindsight a bit of a mistake as I ended up drawing every single guest and sticking them onto parcel tags which we then hung on an old door. It looked great but the number of hours spent drawing could probably have been used more wisely! Being in the middle of a field, there was plenty of space for the kids to run around and play and towards the end of the night, the adults too!

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Hay bales were covered with tartan picnic rugs for guests to sit on and relax during the champagne reception and thankfully the sun came out! The champagne was special as we were kindly taken over to the Champagne region in France by the groom’s mum and step-dad where we got to sample some fizz before buying the one we liked best. We ended up with loads including a magnum for each table for the speeches. It certainly went down a treat.

Red Olive

We couldn’t go without mentioning our fantastic caterers Red Olive who on the run up to the day and the day itself, couldn’t do enough for us. Charlie and his team were so professional and nothing seemed to be an issue. The meal was relaxed and informal with an antipasti starter of continental meats, olives and artisan breads, followed by rotisserie lamb which was reared on the farm by my uncle. It was all delicious and to fuel our late night dancing, they provided some fantastic curries – plenty of people went up for seconds!

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Your Favourite People In One Place

What made our day so special was that it was very personal to us. The tiny details were really appreciated by our guests and it made all those hours of planning and hard work worth it. My husband and I were a pretty good team. Being an events manager by trade, he kept on top of all the suppliers and had lots of lovely colour coordinated spreadsheets whilst I could concentrate on the creative elements.

Pinterest was a big help as was the many beautiful real weddings posted on this blog! Looking back, I definitely took on too much so my advice like many other brides would be to only take on as much as you can. Our wedding was very much a homespun affair, we couldn’t have done it without the fantastic contributions made by our parents and their home-made creations. Involving close friends and family is so important because they get to feel involved and make a special contribution to your day. You don’t need thousands of pounds or a grand location to make your day perfect, all you need is your favourite people in one place. That’s what made our wedding special.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Gown – Ronald Joyce
Boutique – Darcy Weddings
Florist – Tineke Floral Designs
Marquee – Bond Marquees
Evening Entertainment – Fat Chance
Maids – Wtoo
Caterers – The Red Olive
Groomsmen – Walker Slater
Photography – McKinley-Rodgers

View The Slideshow:

I tell you what, those guests at the end are clearly having a whale of a time.

I quite fancy a little dance in a Gypsophila crown myself.

Congratulations you two!

All my love Lolly xxx

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The First, The Last, My Everything.

Anna and Nick married in a little church in Madrid in April 2012. The reception was at the Club Financiero Génova which is in the heart of the city.

Photography for this Delicious Destination city shindig was undertaken by the hugely talented by Pen and Cam at McKinley-Rodgers Photography.

Prepare to get super stylish in the city peeps…

I Was Made To Feel Like a Bride

My dress was from Rosa Clara and even though it is a Spanish designer I actually purchased my dress in the beautiful bridal boutique Mamfii Bridal here in the UK. I had planned to buy the dress in Madrid however once I stepped into Mamfii Bridal I just fell in love with the place and I was made to feel like a bride. In Spain I felt like cattle in a meat market when I stepped into the bridal shop. It made things simpler when it came to dress fittings having the dress in the UK. Also the staff at Mamfii seem to be trained in the art of wedding dress origami, they expertly gave me the dress in a hand luggage box!

The dress chose me. It’s incredible how different your shape can look in each dress. All I knew was that I wanted a matted material in a natural white. As soon as I tried this dress on it just felt…right.

Lace And Bling

I wore a lace bolero for the ceremony and a long cathedral veil with lace trim, both from Rosa Clara. I am glad I made the choice to have a bolero, I did feel quite exposed without it and for the church it just seemed a little bit more respectful. It also offered a different ‘look’ in the evening once I took it off.

I searched for weeks, much to my colleagues amusement, for the ‘perfect’ hair comb. I wanted something quite blingy (in contrast with my plain dress). I eventually found the comb from Donna Crain. It was blingy without being garish, well…I think so 🙂

Dance The Night Away

Nick and I are the same height so I chose some kitten heels from Dune. This also meant I could dance the night away. I think I would have been worried if I had worn higher shoes.

Crazy Curls

I am half Spanish and I inherited the crazy curls from my Spanish side. I chose to have my hair up in case of rain (thank goodness I did). I just knew that no amount of hairspray would control the frizz if it was humid. I chose two French braids on the side and an elaborate bun. Once it was in place I could forget about it and it was comfortable. The veil was also quite heavy and it needed the bun so it had something to support it.

Strong Colours

I chose pink Peonies for the bouquets which were pretty voluptuous flowers however they do bruise very easily. I chose pastel hydrangeas for the church and brighter hydrangeas for the centerpiece. The venue was quite modern so we needed brighter stronger colours.

Let Go And Relax

We had a very loose colour scheme. I always felt that when everything matches exactly it does not feel organic. We tried keeping everything towards blues and pinks. This also made things easier because I could not be in Madrid for most of the planning and trying to describe the perfect colour blue down the phone or through email was not easy. Learning to let go and relax about specific concepts was the hardest part about planning a wedding abroad.


The Groom wore a traditional morning suit along with the wedding party with a blue tie to pull the colour scheme a little bit.

Beautifully Composed

We met Pen and Cam from McKinley-Rodgers Photography a year before our wedding at one of our best friends weddings. Not only were they genuinely lovely people who clearly love each other and believed in love but their work is just stunning. They capture the story and emotion in a beautifully composed space. We felt relaxed with them and trusted them to do a great job. We also needed photographers that could handle our intense Spanish and English combination.

Lost The Plot

The cake is a funny story… after getting quite frustrated with Spanish cake makers (over charging) I decided to purchase an M&S fruit cake and drive it to Spain. Nicks first reaction was to think that I had finally lost the plot. But the more I thought about it the more I realised the sanity in my magnificent plan.

So a week before the wedding I picked up our M&S fruit cake, 4 tiers in separate boxes. We loaded it into my car in a large plastic container, along with Bridesmaid dresses, wedding dress and luggage and embarked on a 2 day journey. The cake survived just fine and I put it together in Madrid adding two little birds and ribbon and it tasted great!

No Waiting Around

For our entertianment he hired a DJ. Everyone danced for hours. The wedding was quite short 6pm – 2:30am so no one really waited around at any point and the evening flowed really well. I cannot imagine now having an all-day wedding. I loved being able to have a slow start to the day.

A Bit Of Barry

We didn’t plan to have a first dance but we ended up on the dance floor in the middle of everyone dancing to Barry White (You’re the First, the Last, My Everything).

Sweet Charity

We thought long and hard about wedding favours and in the end after calling quite a few places we decided to make a donation to Doctors without borders. An organisation that offers medical help to those in need. We also bought boxes of mints where the proceeds go to Doctors without borders and placed them on the tables. There are so many Charities that will give you a little something for your guests.

Minor Hiccups

On the actual day we had a few little things that went wrong. My sister was sewn into her dress before we left to go to the church because her zip broke. The car broke down on the way to pick us up from the church (Rolce-Royce Phantom), luckily we had a backup car just in case.

But on the actual day all that mattered was that we were getting married with all our family and friends there to support us. Honestly this is what I really take away: How lucky we are to be so much in love and to have found each other. How blessed we are to have such a passionate and incredible family. Our friends are just outstanding people, many traveling from all over the world to be with us.

Thank you.

Venue – Club Financiero Génova

Dress – Rosa Clara

Boutique – Mamfii Bridal

Hair Comb – Donna Crain

Shoes – Dune

Photographer – McKinley-Rodgers Photography

Cake – M&S

City slick, with Spanish flair and some fantastic touches of tradition thrown in too.

I love those roof top shots. I know we often say that such-and-such an image should be blown up super-massive and put on a wall… but if those ones with the words CENTRO and COLON don’t end up printed on an oversize canvas then a major W-day mis-justice has occurred!

Just sensational.


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Friday I’m In Love.

As you are probably already blissfully aware, it is Retro Week here at Rock My Wedding. To celebrate we have teamed up with lomography.com and we are giving a whole bunch of lomography cameras and goodies away to lucky commentors on every single post this week.

Our real weddings this week all have bags of retro elements and inspiration and today’s vintage-esque shindig is no exception.

We have a buttercream vintage-inspired dress from the bridal arm of Anthropologie, currently one of Charlottes most favourite sites on the inter web, bhldn.com. Matched perfectly with some beautiful crochet gloves, which although I know herald from a decade long before the 80’s still make me think a teeny-tiny bit of Madonna…

Maybe I’ve got retro on the brain…

Also, having read Natalies report I was reassured to find out that I wasn’t the only kid who collected novelty shaped rubbers in the 1980’s… Random fact of the day peeps.

The classic imagery laid out before your eyes is all by supertog team McKinley-Rodgers Photography. Enjoy.

The Cobbled Streets Of Chester.

Jez and I have been together for a long time, and once he had popped the question and I had said ‘YES’ we didn’t want to hang around so we were married just three months later! We wanted to celebrate in the city where we live and where we met and we had decided that Chester Town Hall was the perfect setting for our civil ceremony, but refurbishments meant that we had to do it this summer or wait almost a year – so we just went for it. The ceremony was wonderful – really easy going and personal. After an initial ‘moment’ when my dad, my bridesmaids and I walked into the room, I couldn’t stop smiling – nay grinning – like a Cheshire Cat. We took a risk in writing our own poem for one of our readings and my brother – who read it – had initially described it as ‘a bit left field’, but because everyone there knew us, they got it, and it went down a real treat.

For our reception, we all wandered through the cobbled streets of Chester to the beautiful Guildhall – the former parish church of the city – where we had a very tasty informal late afternoon tea of little sandwiches, crisps and scones which our amazing deli-owning friend Chris put on for us, followed by lots of mingling, dancing and catching up within the beautiful setting of the Guildhall. Pie, mash, gravy and peas were served for a good northern supper later.

Ric-Rac Detailing.

My dress is the ‘Fondant Tea Dress’ from Beholden by Anthropologie – with a name like that who wouldn’t want it? I loved it the moment I saw it online, and when it arrived just a few days after I was delighted – in fact could just have eaten it! I had been trying to find a vintage dress but time was running out, and I found that most bridal boutiques asked for far more time than I had to play with. My dress was a mix of a beautiful vintage inspired shape, made with fabrics and techniques that I already adored. The buttercream silk felt so light, the delicate sheen of it contrasted beautifully with the tiny tulle frills and ric-rac detailing, and the pin tucks gave the dress a naive twist.

A Time Gone By.

I chose accessories from Beholden too. I just fell in love with the crochet ‘unabashedly’ gloves that are presented with the Fondant tea dress online. They really are from a time gone by, and complement the dress perfectly. After a couple of emails backwards and forwards with bhldn.com stylists I also decided on the ‘Bow-Topped’ bolero as it was made with the same buttercream silk as my dress, and I felt it would balance out the look. It fitted perfectly and was exactly what I had been looking for without even knowing it. When I started to research mid-century looks I saw a lot of shorter veils. The unconventionality of the dress meant that my veil needed to be a bit different too so I decided on a birdcage veil. I like to make things – I knit, crochet and sew (a little) – and I had my mum’s cream veil that I thought I could use as the basis for my own creation. A quick search on the internet threw up a few different ‘how to’ guides so away I went. A £2.50 haberdashery spend and a few hours of head scratching, needle threading, 70s lace flower and ric-rac positioning later, and my very own creation was born. I also had my something old into the bargain.

Lady Dragon.

I knew that I wanted my shoes to stand out because of the length of my dress. Making a statement with my tootsies was surprisingly difficult. I wanted a mid-heel height, comfort and style. Apparently, these three things don’t come together all that often. Three purchases and two returns later, I had my perfect pair – my Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Lady Dragon shoes. They were the perfect height, the perfect colours and better still, they smelt AMAZING. It was like a nostalgia trip into my novelty rubber collecting 1980s childhood!

Sort Of Wavy, Sort Of Curly.

I was completely open about what to do with my hair and in fact didn’t even think about it much until the Wednesday before we got married. My hair length was quite restricting – in a not short, not long kind of way (that would be mid-length then), so I just let the people at my regular hairdressers, Essensuals in Chester, play around. They curled it, tied it up, took it down, put it up again in a different way, and then when they took it down for me to leave, there it was! A sort of wavy, sort of curly, down do which was a little bit different but still very much me. That was that. I did my make up myself. I just kept it simple and comfortable as I wanted to feel myself but spent a bit longer getting my foundation right using a primer beneath it and a translucent powder over it to keep it in place. My one new item was a gorgeoups lippy from Mac called Lady Bug (ooh I do love a good lipstick name).

British Blooms.

I intitially wanted to do all of the flowers myself. Bad idea! I tried to make a buttonhole for Jez a couple of weeks before but after one hour it had drooped hideously. If I couldn’t make a buttonhole work there was no way I was going to attempt a bouquet on my wedding day. We were so pleased with our final decision. We bought five large boxes of freshly cut British flowers from the fabulous wigglywigglers.co.uk and filled decorated jam jars for the table decorations. My mum and I had put the jam jars together a couple of weeks before armed with titbits of ribbon I never throw away, buttons, some lace I found at a vintage fair and a glue gun.

The bouquets and buttonholes were created by a local florist. The ladies at Snapdragon listened to my very open brief (just a week before the wedding I might add), – ‘just gathered’, British blooms, no particular colour scheme – showed me a picture of an edible bouquet which also had herbs in, which I loved the idea of, and then created the pretty, simple bouquets and buttonhoples wrapped in lace and ric-rac that I’d provided them with. I’d specified very little really, but I was absolutely delighted with the results.

A Little Help From Our Friends.

Getting married at such short notice, and wanting to play by our own rules, we decided to ask a few people to help out in the bridal party, but wear what they felt comfortable in. This worked really well for our wedding. Everyone felt comfortable, looked great and complemented each other beautifully! Their buttonholes and bouquets distinguished them very nicely so that people knew whom they could ask for help and directions.

Charcoal And Pale Green.

Jez found his wedding suit in John Lewis’s own range. It was charcoal grey with a little bit of a rock ‘n’ roll satin trim around the collar and pockets. He loved it, felt comforatable in it and better still, will defintately wear it again! He wore it with a beautiful shirt from a local outfitters in Chester – G:Rooms – and a pale green tie. He looked just perfect. Perfectly Jez. To top it all off was his unique and priceless smile. He smelt pretty good too in his ‘Midnight in Paris’ scent. I caught myself leaning in towards him a few times during the ceremony just to get a little sniff.

A Late Booking.

When we finally decided to have a photographer, we knew the kind of style we were looking for. We were keen that our photos would capture our day through lenses that were sympathetic to our own vision of our day. McKinley-Rodgers Photography seemed to have the perfect style for us. Their gorgeous website and online portfolio enticed me and what we found were photographers who had just the right tone for us.

Penny’s charming emails and telephone conversation convinced us that we had made the perfect choice. We weren’t even able to meet before the wedding as it was such a late booking – literally a few weeks! – but Pen was just superb on the day. Easy going, intuitive, discreet and just generally lovely.

No Cake.

Although Jez is a BIG cake fan, we decided not to have a wedding cake. Instead we invited our friends and families to bring a cake to the table for everyone to enjoy. It worked great. We had allsorts of beautiful cakes that people just devoured. We were going to cut one of them in trad style, but in the end, we lost track of time, and nobody noticed anyway!

Hey Mr DJ.

Jez is very much a music fan – so much so, that the line ‘a CD a day is good for us. it is not ridiculous’ found it’s way into the poem in our wedding ceremony! He bought some software – ‘Djay’ for his Mac – taught himself, then taught our friend Mike, and away they went. Hours of playlist building, software learning, tea drinking, PA and light hiring. Good music, good friends and good (and some not so good) dancing – a perfect mix!

God Only Knows.

Our first dance was to the Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’. It’s a perfect old classic which we just love. The lyrics are so lovely and singable. I thought I’d be really worried about it, but in the end we really enjoyed our moment.

When we eventually decided we would have favours it was purely based on what I accidentally found browsing the web. Paper hearts? Embedded with the seeds of wild flowers? YES please!! The hearts looked really pretty, and hopefully, people will be planting them as we speak so they can continue to enjoy them.

Generous Pals.

Our reception venue is such a beautiful grand building in itself, with stone archways and a cavernous vaulted ceiling, that there wasn’t a lot that we could possibly do to make it more beautiful! However, a few of our fabulous friends and family came along the night before and transformed the white linen covered tables into pretty, understated pieces of art adorned with vintage mismatching crocks borrowed from a fabulous friend, tea lights, borrowed from another fabulous friend, and decorated jam jars filled with a higgledy-piggledy assortment of freshly picked British blooms.

With the seed paper hearts in the cups the tables were complete. We adorned the edges of the room with just a little bunting – again borrowed from generous pals – and the room was complete. Just lovely. Very pleasing.

A Cello Bass Bride.

One of my favourite things about our day was performing in our very own little concert! Jez plays guitar and is in an on-off band with our great friend Mike. Befittingly they’re called ‘Things That Never Happen’! They had played a few songs at Mike’s wedding a few years ago – including ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure. They decided to re-form for this occasion, and how befitting in true rock ‘n’roll style to do a response in the form of ‘Friday I’m In Love’ also by The Cure – after all, it was Friday and we were in love.

I wasn’t happy in the sidelines providing tea, so I suggested that I play a bassline on my cello which I started to learn last year. It was a challenge as I’m certainly no virtuoso, but I thought it would be fun and worth it in the long run. It was SOOOOO brilliant doing it. I didn’t dare look up at our friends and family in case I missed a note or got a giggle fit, but I think they all enjoyed it judging from the applause! I think it was a real glimpse into us and our world – particularly for people who we don’t see all that often.

Beg And Borrow.

Three months is not a long time to prepare for a wedding, but it’s definitely achievable and I would advise anyone who wants to and can do it to go for it. We chose the things that were really important to us to get right – the venues, the ethos and the people – and everything else we were pretty easy about, spending where necessary but also very happy to beg and borrow, craft and thrift. When our photographers asked us to describe our wedding in three words, we replied with ‘our own rules’. And that would be my advice for any betrothed couple.

We didn’t have a massive budget, or lots of preconceptions about what we wanted our day to be like, so we just hatched our outline plan and things unfolded as we went along. We worked it all out together. If you stay true to your own rules, work together and don’t get too stressed, then your individuality and personalities will shine through. And when you look back on that day, how it will make you smile!

Venue Chester Guildhall

Dress bhldn.com

Accessories bhldn.com

Shoes Vivienne Westwood

Hair Essensuals in Chester

Blooms wigglywigglers.co.uk

Florist Snapdragon

Photography McKinley-Rodgers Photography

We bloody love The Cure at RMW, infact Charlotte and I can often be found jumping about to the sounds of Friday I’m In Love when really we should be doing something more sensible like writing a post.

I think we may have touched on every single decade in retro week with this beaut of a wedding! – share your favourite part of Natalie and Jez’s day with us in the comments box and just like every post this week, you could win a stupidly cool retro camera or notebook from lomography.com.

Spread the retro love peeps… even though it’s Wednesday not Friday.